According to my colleague Jim Galloway, RNC Chairman Reince Priebus is coming to the A-T-L tomorrow for a private conversation with black Republicans in the state, attempting to discover what the Grand Old Party can do differently to reach black voters.
Given the demographic changes underway in Georgia and Atlanta’s historic role as a center of both the black middle class and the civil rights movement, it’s an appropriate place to have the conversation.
The session is by invitation only, and is closed to the public. But it got me thinking: If you were in attendance, how would you advise Priebus? Why has the Republican Party — the party of abolition, of Abraham Lincoln, of Colin Powell and Condi Rice — found it so difficult to attract not just black voters but voters of almost any minority group, and more important, what can be done to change it?
I’ve written repeatedly that the current division is not merely bad for the Republican Party, it’s bad for the state of Georgia and bad for the country as a whole. But how can it be changed? (This assumes, of course, that this isn’t just another half-hearted PR scheme like previous “outreach efforts” by the party.)
So … any ideas?
(Personally, I thought the suggestions laid out by Kevin Williams in a recent Washington Post op-ed were a fine place to start. At the very least, adopting them would demonstrate an honest commitment to change the situation.)
– Jay Bookman